ShareThis Page

Ex-Pirates greats Bonds, Groat, Leyland to participate in Opening Day festivities

| Friday, March 28, 2014, 1:27 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA — Barry Bonds is returning to Pittsburgh.

The former Pirates great and MLB all-time leader in home runs will attend the Pirates' Opening Day game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday and present Andrew McCutchen with his National League MVP award.

“It's pretty cool,” McCutchen said. “I look forward to it. I haven't had any (interaction with Bonds).”

Bonds will join a number of former Pirates greats at PNC Park to participate in pregame festivities.

Bonds, who won the NL MVP seven times (1990 and '92 with Pirates), joins 1960 winner Dick Groat in presenting McCutchen with the award. Pirates 1978 NL MVP Dave Parker was scheduled to appear but cannot because of a scheduling conflict, the team said.

“We are pleased to welcome such a strong group of Pirates alumni to take part in our Opening Day ceremonies,” Pirates president Frank Coonelly wrote in an email. “The ceremony is a great way to recognize our award winners from last season as well as our club's rich history.

“As a two-time MVP award winner for the Pirates, Barry was a major factor in the success of those Pirates teams of the early '90s and one of the greatest players to put on a Pirates uniform. We felt inviting Barry, along with our other living former MVP award winners in Dick Groat and Dave Parker, to participate is a classy way to recognize their contributions to the Pirates organization while celebrating Andrew for his.”

Major League Baseball was not involved in the decision to invite Bonds, the Pirates said.

Former manager Jim Leyland, who won two NL Manager of the Year awards with the Pirates, will present Clint Hurdle with his 2013 Manager of the Year award.

McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez will receive their Silver Slugger awards from former winner Jack Wilson.

Scott Kiner, son of Pirates Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. McCutchen's mother Petrina McCutchen will sing the national anthem.

Skydiving team Fastrax also will participate, flying into the ballpark and landing on the field with the American flag and a Pirates flag.

Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.